tv Today in Washington CSPAN July 22, 2010 6:00am-7:00am EDT
those claims. make sure you understand, it is not necessary under this protocol for oil to show up. what is necessary is that the natural resources are hard, you can't fish, tourism is hurt, i mean, i've tried to spell out, there doesn't have to be actual physical destruction if you lost profits or income or what have you. and i will take a look at those claims. >> quickly, can you confirm that the 90 day period for consider ing payments has not commenced because the cap has been placed on. thank you. >> thank you. >> thank you very much. >> thank you for five minute.
>> appreciate very much what you are taking on. as a district judge, i was asked to take over what was deemed the biggest, worst tort claim in texas history that had been going on for 11 years with over 100 lawyers. anyway, took that on, so i have great sympath for what you are doing. i have questions. pardon my muddiness, it is something i carry with me. but i was wondering, do you know how you were chosen out of all the people in the united states do this job? besides being crazy enough to take it on? >> well, i was chosen by the administration a bp by agreement.
you'll have to ask representatives of both as to why they are relying on me to act independently. i suspect that others have pointed out my prior work. >> all rightbut you don't know who selected you? who called you, the president? >> no, i have never talked to the president about this. on the bp side, i had two meetings with bp officials in houston. they asked me to come down and meet and talk about my experience. and on the administration side, the contact person for me has been tom perelli. he is the one i've been dealing with. i think i had one conversation with carole browner of the white house, but, it has been tom perelli on thedministration side. >> today, y weren't subpeonaed, you came voluntarily correct? >> to this committee? >> yes.
i always come when the chairman invites me. >> you said before other venues and it seems clear that you are not accountable to any one, the administration, so, is there anyone who you do account to? >> i think i'm accountable to the people in the gulf that i am trying to help. >> what if they disagree with your decision? >> i think they would voice their feelings to the members of this committee. >> hwho could fire you? >> i guess i could be fired by the administration or bp. >> you say you are accountable to the people in the gulf, but normally accountability carries with it the possibility that those to whom you are
accountable can do something. >> i suppose they can complain to our committee and then somebody in that duo would fire you. >> i think that is right. >> they would agree that my service rz no longer needed. >> with the folks in the gulf. if they don't like your decision, did i understand there is an apel at review? >> there is a review by a panel that has yet to be selected. >> who will select the panel? >> the panel will be selected, names will be submitted to me. right now i select the panel. >> boy, i would love to got to choose those who got to review mine. >> let me say two things about this. if the claim ants have lost confidence in what i'm doing, there is no requirement that they sign up.
there is no greater check on my ability to serve the people of the gulf than the people have lost confidence in me and voluntarily don't apply. if they are not aploying -- >> so you would self fire yourself? >> well, if i have nothing to do. no one is going to have to fire me, i will resign. you have an able staff, are they working pro bone know? >> no. >> who decides their salary. >> bp is paying for the entire cost of this facility. >> who decided on what their salaries would be? >> i will submit proposed salaries to bp. >>okay. >> bp has already been paid about 1500 tepeople in the gulf. we'll decide who should be
continued and who shouldn't. on issue who paid for this facility has to be bp. you can't ask claim ants to pay. >> can they tell you they disagree with the salary you have set? >> i suppose they could say it. >> you mentioned jurisdiction, who set that? >> the jurisdiction has been established by the government and bp. >> the government being us? >> oh the administration. okay. >> and bp together chose me and explained my jurisdiction to me orally. >> and that is my current -- >> not that i've seen thank you. >> gentleman from california is recognizedor five minute. >> thank you madam chair.
thank you for joining us. thank you for taking on this responsibity. >> it is good to have someone of your capability on the task. i want to follow up on some of the questions my colleagues asked. i apologize if you have to repeat some of the things you said earlier. i'm interested in when people submit a claim to you, is there ever a case -- do they have to wave a court remedy when they do so? >> yes. >> people who submit a clai to me, seeking emergency payments, pay the mortgage, put food on the table, i'm unemployed because of thespill, people who make such a claim can receive from the facility up to six months lost wages or lost income without any obligation they do not sign away any rights
they may have to go to court, to sue, not sue, it is without obligation. sub subsequently, if they want to voluntarily request a lump sum final payment or additional esent or future damage, we will calculate that damage and offer them the claim ant here is a check for $600,000 or whatever it might be. only if the claim ant decides it is in his or her interest to take that check, then they would sign the release. >> it would wave any claim in the future against -- >> bp. >> if there was economic cost they would wave that? >> yes. >> is it presumed that the six
month emergency assistant, should they litigate later would be deducted from the amount that bp would wow them? >> yes. >> if they won and if there was a damage award them? >> yes. >> if they won and if there was a damage awa them? >> yes. >> if they won and if there was a damage awa them? >> yes. >> if they won and if there was a damage awao them? >> yes. >> if they won and if there was a damage awaw them? >> yes. >> if they won and if there was a damage awa them? >> yes. >> if they won and if there was a damage award would be able to say you have damages of x but we paid you six months, so deduct that. >> and what you are trying to do in deterning an eligible claim is use the same principles of causization and proximity that the courts would deploy. >> that is the starting point. and the more i listen to the house staff and others, the starting point is probably for most of people claims involving business loss or wage loss not state law but the federa pollution control act which is more liberal in causization requirements.
that is the starting point. then i would have to exercise my judgement in trying to decide whether a claim that might not even be eligible for compensation in court should never be paid as part of this fasignature. >> do facility. >> does bp have to give you permission to do that? >> no. >> even if it goes beyond what they have obligates under law, they have given you the discretion to say, under your judgement, we would be obliga obligated, you should go ahead and play the claim. >> and it is not limited to $20 billion. bp has made it clear, $20 billion, hopefully it is enough. but if not, they will honor subsequent obligations they may have. >> i assume they will keep an eye on the degree to which you find claims eligible to determine how much it will undergo? >> of course.
>> i think the ultimate cost of this is going to be on the capacity of any company to pay the full costs. at some point, will the government claims for reimbursement be in competition with the claims for private parties? if there is a finite amount of resources that bp has, who will the debtor that bets the priority? >> in one sense they are already in competition. under this $20 billion that has been set aside, that $20 billion is used not only for the private claims that i'm administering, but for the government claims as well. the $20 billion is not targets just for the claims that i'm proce processing. it including tax revenue loss for states and cities what have
you. bp has stated publicly and privately to the administration if $20 billion is not enough to cover all of this, they will, th promise to supplement the $20 billion with additional money. >> you are not adjudicating you yourself, the government claims, but they are paid out of the $20 billion? >> that is correct. >> so that mean that is there is some urgency, apart from the funding that people are submitting funding for right now, people in the gulf need to feel some urgency if they feel that the bp resources won't hold out if they want to seek a lump sum payment now rather than wait for litigation and bp that may or may not be able to pay all claims. there is a race for compensation? >>ou could put it that way. i think there is an urgency for claim ants to seek a lump sum
apart from competition. i'm not concerned although you raise a valid, argument. i'm not couraged that there hcos to be a race for funds because the money may dry up. >> the gentleman's time is expired. >> i'm concerned that people not delay because they need the money and they ought to be racing to enter the facility. >> mr. poe of texas recognized for five minutes. >> thank you. trying to put this in perspective. i appreciate your thoughts on this, it is great. representing southeast texas the district that borders louisiana. because of the gulf stream, we don't get the oil spill it goes to louisiana. however, the people in my district work in louisiana. the direct injury but not being
able to fish crawfish, shrimp all of that. and the second problem is, is the moratorium, i know you are not involved in that,ut has bp put money into a fund to pay for losts based on the moratorium? >> yes,ho is administering that fund? >> i don't think they have chosen an administrator for that fund yet. >> my understanding is as follows. >> you are correct. it is not on my watch. $100 million has been set aside unrelated to the $20 billion. not businesses associated with the moratorium, workers. that 100 million will be represented separately by a charity or non profit foundation in the gulf. i don't think they have selected anybody yet.
>> i don't know. >> now as totexas, residents in the gulf who are joining louisiana fish and shrimp and harvest oysters, and as you put it, directly impacted, they should be filing a claim. there is no limitation as to who can file a claim. i have talked to the attorney general of texas and what is going on around gaeston. i urge those residents in your district to file a claim if they are being impacted. >> how many claim centers do you have in texas? >> right now 36 claim centers around the gulf. >> how many are in texas? >> i don't know. i don't think there are any yet in texas. the attorney general has suggested that we need one there. we mado that. i think right now thereare only 70 claims, i think from the
galveston area. and if needed we will set up a facility there. >> another question on the same issue. i see, like judge gomer, i se a conflict of losses based on the actual damages of the oil spill. and the moratorium kind of meddling together. and are you going to make a decision that this is a claim based on the moratorium? that goes somewhere else? and so this percentage is based on the oil spill? >> the direct claims are not aproblem because as i understand it, the moratorium claims are only for moratorium impacted rig workers. nothing to do with the spill directly. so those determinations will be
relatively straight forward and will be made by somebody else. the question posed earlier which is problematic is, somebody who files a claim for lost revenue, i have a motel on the beach, and i'm down 30%, and some of that is attributable to the moratorium. that is going to be tough evidencerywise for me to distinguish. >> regarding statute of limitations, do you have a statute of limitations that you are looking at on -- when the accident occurred to when eventually will all claim ants be paid through your agency? judge my understanding is the current protocol, urged a three-year statute of limitations. >> the facility that i'm
administering wod be administered for three years. after which it would terminate on a date certain. claims would have to be brought within that three year period. >> thank you. the gentlelady is recognized for ve minutes. >> thank you mr. chairman. i want to express my appreciation for you beg here today and answering our questions and some may be deplicktive so i'm going to apologize for that. who is helping you to develop the process under which claims are going to be guided? >> who is helping you -- establish the process under which claims will be processed? >> i am relying on first and foremost the deputy whose worked with me on the other claims,
9/11 and virginia technology and agent orange, camille byrose in my firm. and then we are relying on outside consultants, garden city, brown greer in virginia. we are relying on people in it g gulf which has been already processing claims over $200 million worth of claims. most of the help that i will be relying on will be local help. you can't do this from washington, you need somebody else mentioned this, you need trusted people from the community. and will be using those vendors. >> arehere bp employees that are assisting in that claims process? >> well, there won't be in a few more weeks. right now, everybody is working
for bp. in a few more weeks when the facility replaces bp we will be independent without bp employees. >> okay will you be at that point when the facility opens, relying on the guidelines that bp established? >> no. >> completely independent? is. >> yes, we will decide whether we verify and ratify them, but we will have our own criteria and our own procedures. >> you established earlier that bp is paying the salaries of staff that will be assisting you is that correct? >> bp will on going pay the staff. >> when the facility opens bp will be paying those salaries as well? >> yes. and bp better be paying the salaries with everybody associated with this, when you try and think of who else might pay it is in a short list.
>> i happen to be in agreement with you there. will those salaries, will that payment come from the gulf coast compensation fund itself? or that fund is simply for the claim ants? >> everybody associated with facility that isn't a bp employee. once the facility takes over, all of that payment will come out of the $20 billion facility. it will be paid by the $20 billion. which is of course indirectly bp also. i'm pretty confident that the entire infrastructure, the entire salary of everybody associated with this facility will be more than covered by the interest on the $20 billion. >> okay. that was what i was getting at. who brs the ultimate cost of those salaries? >> you said that i believe you
said it might be in your written testimony that there will be three judge panels to hear awards? >> appeals of deed claims? is. >> it will be a three-member panel. >> well i meant three adjudicators. >> right. >> thank you. so, claim ants will have an opportunity if they don't agree with that decision to this three member panel. will they have the opportunity to appeal awards that theyhink are not fully compensating them? >> yes. >> and those will be heard by the three-member panels? >> yes. >> how long do they have to decide to appeal their denials or compensation? >> i don't recall ten days.
i don't want to delay getting money into the handsf claim ants that are unhappyith their award. >> my concern is i feel that it is likely that many of those clmn'ts may be representing them slefz p selves per se because it is set up in a way to keep them from lit gracious aigation and attor. you don't want it to be too brief for somebody ttake advantage of the appeals process. i agree with that. let me say this, i must say if you want one obvious example o my failure in this process, it is if people are appealing what i thought was sound judgement. if people start appealing to this panel, that is a significant bit of evidence that i'm not satisfied claim ants and
i will view appeals if they are necessary, as a sign of failure and that is why i'm hoping that the nmber of appeals are pretty small. >> another question i have is, will bp have the opportunity to appeal a claim if they think it is unwarranted? >> the current protocol states that bp can request the right to appeal. but only i can grant or certify that right to appeal which will not easy be permitted. >> i appreciate the clarification. and the last question that i have for you is on the issue of undocumented workers who may have claims under the gccf. i know that the 9/11 victims compensation fund did allow undocumented workers or people regardless of their current
immigration status to make claims. what is your opinion of folks in this scenario. >> i will do whatever the law requires. in 9/11, the administration, the bush administrion went to the department of immigration and received a ruling from the department that permitted undocumented workers to be eligible, their families to receive fullompensation just as if they were citizens of the united states. i have to follow the tax and immigration laws. if this committee or if who eve wants to include in compensation under this program, undocumented workers, and we can get a ruling from immigration that it is lawful and appropriate that it
is the right thing to do, i will do whatever is agreed upon. i want to follow the law and i want to do whatever is permitted to maximize compensation. >> perfect, thank you for your answer and i yield back. >> i thank the gentlelady, gentleman from virginia mr. scott. >> you indicated something about your staff. do you know the number of layers you are going to be hiring and pa ra legals and other staff persons? >> no, i don't think this is a job that will require a great many lawyers on my staff. some, i'm a lawyer, um this is a job that will require experte in claims processing, in claims evaluation, in evaluating the
legitimacy and proof of claims. i don't think this is a big project for lawyers myself. >> um, do you have an idea about the number of staff people? >> we are trying to develop that now. bp has hired 1600 people. that are currently employed throughout the gulf, local people, primarily local people who have been evaluating and processing claims and they have paid out as you know over $200 million in emergency payments. we will hire additional people as needed. we will reduce the size of the overhead as needed. >> i will notify your offic over the next 30 days. >> will you be hiring pple with the appropriate language skills? >> we are already doing that as i mentioned to congresswoman khu
earlier. we have reachedut to the community we will hire as many experts as needed to make sure that whatever language barriers we've got to overcome that because we've got to get these people to file. you mentioned you won't have at many lawyers but indicated in previous answers that you are working with the trial lawyers and others to get volunteer lawyers. is it your undersndin that many of these will be eligible for legal aid services corporation? >> yes, and we are looking for any and all local or nional organizations to help us with pro bone know legal assistance for claim ants. >> will claims for injuries include pain and suffering?
or just medical expenses? >> well,you know -- i knew you would hit me with a good question. under the 9/11 fund, pain and suffering associated with a physical injury was included. and i've got to think about that. i think if you are goin to be consist ent with the 9/11 fund it should be. >> you probably have things more intense than this situation. psychological situations where it is my understanding that the request for mental health services has gone up significant significantly. >> i doubt it. if you start we've dealt with this with 9? 11. if you start compensating purely mental anguish without anxiety
and strese will be getting miggions millions of people wa television. you have to draw the line somewhere. i think it unlikely that we would compente mental alleged damage without a significant physical injury as well. >> will you be doing clean up expenses? >> no, not on my watch. >> business losses? >> yes. and you mentioned in a previous answer people work iing off the books how indirect general business losses would be xensible. the economy has tanked so everybody is losing. >> we've got to draw that line. what is eligible and not eligible? direct cause easy, fishermen, shrimpers oil on the beach. we are not going to pay a restaurant in richmond thatsays
its business is down because it can't get gulf shrimp. even in virginia when wouldn't allow that. so we are going to have to draw the line somewhere. >> what about a department store in new orles that has a significant decrease in sales because nobody is working? >> the question there is, should we say to that department store in new orleans, your business is down in part because of the spill, people tourists aren't coming and baying. maybe one answer to that is you are eligible, but whereever you prove as your loss we'll give you 20 or 40%. we've got to come up with a c creative way. to decide what mighting eligible but a partial payment. any ideas you have, i welcome
your thoughts. >> i think your selection was as a result of the fact that you had been in unchartered waters. how timely ould people expect their compensation to get paid? >> that is key. i think that once they areeems eligible, they have proven their loss, if it is an emergency payment we should get that payment out in two days. once here is the claim, now i've proven my claim, i need money for my mortgage to put food on the table, i'm out of work, within 48 hours we should get them a check. >> time is pired. let me thank you miss feinberg for the generosity of your time.
i think the members that in inquired i may be the only o, i know that i came in after some ofhe questions who started with the select committee on homeland security before the committees were designed. and so, was engaged with 9/11 as all members were but in a jurisdictional manner and then as a member of the homeland security committee which i continue day. so i know how we had to craft your position after a lot of frustration and you recall a lot of lawyering a lot of people without lawyers, a lot of heart ache that still continues and e families that were frustrated and people who were left in a very, very bad
economic condition. i remember specifically a series of latch key children that were at home in apartments in new york that had to be addrsed. and were left without a parent or a major guardian and many of these were single parent homes. you have gone through a lot and i am working with a initiative which is the overdue payments to people who in new york and i guess specifically have indicated that they re subsequently were ill and have never been compensated. so if you would indulge me for a moment. and i am from the gulf region and i am concerned that we get this right. and i am somewhat without any diminishes of the hard work that you are doing concerned that we
are overwhelmed and all that we are trying to do will in the get done. the first question with the backdrop of recognizing that there are still some people left behindn new york, and the tru frustration we had with that claims process. what is your view of being able to take up if you will all of the claims that are within your jurisdiction in this region. they seem like claims can pop up over a series of days. because the impact is being generated. we will have the resources to make sure that any claim ant in new orleans or any where else in the gulf who files a claim --
>> that is incorrect. >> what about texans whose product comes from their restaurant and their product comes from that area and they have been shut down? >> there is no barrier to any claim ant to any state applying to the claims facility. >> then, in a meeting that you were captured on television and a fisherman jumped up and indicated the potential of this being a very good year, here is my concern. i've been down to that area and talked to oystermen. i'm concerned about the wall street and i use that term please the business standards
placed on an industry that has a different way of doing business. my concern are those little guys that are going to be disadvantaged. if you are usingle ining the st you are not going to help these little guys. how are you going to be fair to an structure that many americans are unfamiliar with and they don't meet the standard accounting business procedures and they feel that they are beinput upon? >> congresswoman, i am determined to do right by those people. and those businesses in the gulf, i will rely on local people who know the culture, know the community, know how people liven that vy sinity. i don't ben to claim here in washington to have give you that
information. in terms of it was going to be a very good year. show me, show me, i will bend over backwards to help these local businesses. i am trying to help them. don't come to me and say trust me it was going to be a great year. at the other end is the person who comes in and says look, i had this contract and this contract and this was going to be a great year. okay look that is the minimal proof that is fine here. so i will work with you, and the people down there, to try and maximize the compensation. >> i'm going to reach out on small businesses whose restaurants were named after louisiana names and placed in texas and my understanding is that they have been treated
poorly. if i could, engaging you, how do you prove that you left your product that was sha rifing and growing on the sea bed on the bottom of the ocean bed, that there is a mountain of oysters, a mountain of shrimp and other fish that you could have caught, how do you prove that other than to say that you are an expert or that you do some deh deep sea diving? the oysters have been soiled if you will and are thot edible, that, that would have been a go year, i work hard and know that i would have gotten 90% of those. how do you do hat? >> i will give you a couple of ways to do it. one, show me before the spill for the last katrina year, show me thr years, show me how successful you were in the past in harvesting those oysters.
two, if you can't do that, show me how you bring in evidence from your colleagues, from your other captains from her people in that community that will vouch for your optimism in terms of going forward. i'm trying to help. >> so, capture it again. show you what? >> either show a contract what in the past what you did. that now you can't do. claims facility, $500,000 three years ago, $600,000 two able to
use that kind of material to predict d provide for them. >> that is one way. >> another way, i just started this company, i don't have past records, but i'm bringing in captain jones and captain smith and captain brown and they will all vouch for the spill, this is what i would have done. give me an argument that will allow me to pay the claim. >> let me ask this, bp's obligati
obligations are these claims binding on bp and could bp appeal every facility. no, under my current protocol, there can only been an appeal by bp if i certify it. if i agree that its an important enough issue otherwise bp has no right to appeal a bp claim joo claim. thank you. >> gentlelady om california is recognized. >> thank you. i am pleased i was able to get here even though a bit late, i wanted to certainly meet mr. feinberg and tell him it gives me a level of comfort that you are now in a position to have --
construct the claims process. i appreciate the work that you did, and i'm looking forward to your creating the kind of protocols tho will get us into a claim system that is fair and will compensate those who have been harmed in the right way. i have a few questions i would like to ask you. some of these qutions may be premature. the first thing i would like to ask about the $20 billion. that was negotiated by the administration a i'm wondering if this include a cap on li liebility that somehow those persons that are getting compensated out of thi $20 billion, if they accept a
settleme settlement they cannot sue correct? >> that is correct. if they can accept the lump sum payment that i offer them. however, any clamt who is eligible and can prove the claim will receive up to six months emergency payment without any obligation of any type to release or promise not to sue. so it is only if a claim ant comes to me and says voluntarily, i've got my six months payment and thank you but i want to now a lump sumpayment for the remaining present and future damage. only if they like that amount do they wave their right to sue bp. >> was there a cap on liability in the 9/11 claims process? >> no, nor is there a cap in
this process. >> but, if you accept it, and you discovered that there was a lingering health problem, do you have the ability to sue? >> no. >> in the 9/11 fund, which i administered, ifou settled with the 9/11 fund with full disclosure that it was a wver of any future claim, you had to wave that claim. and if you didn't want to, don't come into the fund. >> you could too? >> you can sue as an individual. >> if you didn't want to take the payment. >> that is right. >> same as this. >> okay very good. >> now, i am focused on new orleans because they had a home
program that was a mess. i'm a little bit upset that there was money left over that we eventually reclaimed and there are people who are left who still did not get the right amount of money and they still do not have those homes. i want to see this process work better than new orleans. >> i have gotten to know, the black oyster fishermen for example, with a wonderful man who knows the history four generations of fishermen down there in the area. and when they first went into the process, prior to the administration getting involved and agreeing on this $20 billion
amount, the initial attempt to get them to wave rights if they accepted a small amount was to serve it. and i socidid not want that to the kind of thinking that would lead us into this. you got a handle on that. >> what i'm worried about is this, we have -- we're going to have fishermen without receipts. without irs filings, you'll have some who are not that lit rakin structured business people that you could say, i want your receipts in order to prove that you are eligible for this claim. what alternatives do you have to
help these people get to compensation witho all of that documentation? what can you substitute for the kind of documentation that i eluded to? >> come in and have your ship chap ta captain tell me what he paid you. i need some prove, i don't need extensive business records. you have to demonstrate that you have a valid claim. but i will bend over backwards to try and find. >> will you define this in your protocols how you have alternative system of proof verification whatever, whatever, whatever. you will spell that out? >> absolutely. okay that is very good. >> do i not need irs returns and
extensive business documentation, i do not need it. >> all right. well, i thought i heard something but i didn't. let me ask you this, unanimous consent for one minute. thank you. i'm learning a lot about the oyster beds. i haven't had a chance to talk about it so that he can explain it to me about the oyster beds. i was reading last night that the oysters will dying because the fresh water is killing them. i couldn't determine whether or not the beds are natural or designed they belong to one entity or belong to everybody. have you gotten into that yet? >> no. okay. you have anticipated as you y usually do another issue or question i haven't thought of
an i will look into it. >> that is real important. it seems to me, if everybody has access to certain oyster beds, you have to figure out what they've got coming to them. having said all of that, will you pript a pamphlet or brochure that people can at least use to say, this is how the process works? >> we'll have all of that. we'll have it at 35 claims offices online, difference languages. we'll help you fill out the form. we'll do all of that. >> there are a number of organitions that are trying to help people down there. but they survive on donations. have you gotten advocacy money in this $20 billion that you can help pay some of these not so
bi organizations as helping them? >> we will look into that. i must say most of those organizations have not asked for it. they are glad to help regardless of funding from the $20 billion but i will look into that. >> they come and say we've been doing this work and we can't get any money from it. thank you so much for being here today. >> thank you very ch. mr. feinberg let me just wrap up with a few rap fire questions. does that mean and you wiare willing to say that the fibb fishermen who were involved with the bp claims process, are you saying to them now, one of the issues is outreach. for them to get this information they may be vessels of opportunity and be doing some work but not getting all that
they need. are you saying to them now they can reach out and you will take what they have been given an reassess it if it is a new start? >> yes. >> thank you. pending legislation, as you know, you are working with our committee staff, might impact what bp's liebility would be. my question is if for example ws were passed that suggested that damages became available would your rules of protocol change to assess those damages particularly mental health and otrs that are drastically needed? >> yes. >> in the amount of staffing that i think my colleague in inquired of. you said you were using familiar faces but also looking in the region. do you know how many you might be working with in your operation? >> no, not yet.
i will know in a few more weeks. >> you indicated would you get it to a committee member of myself? >> yes, if you ckacan vouch for individuals in the region who would be awonderful addition to what i'm doing by all means i welcome those names. >> the economy is such that we hate to take vadvantage of disaster and devastation. but one of the things i want to emphasize are small businesses and as it related to visuals that you have a range of diversity. is that something that you will be looking at in terms of employees and vendors? >> yes, and the protocol itself will so tate. >> i think i raised the question of non physical health claims,
so because what you are saying is until you have that protocol that the law is passed. you will be able to reassess what their status is. the final point that i would like to raise is what i raised at the beginning. the aftermath, the individuals who in 9/11 say they have been made sick or something happened to tm pursuant to this disaster. what kind o range do we have with that potential and do you believe that this fund is going to run out and just as some instructive direct t many of us, after seeing these two disasters but you also handled virginia tech, i think you said that. wouldn't it be effective to have at least a core structure that could be activated quickly using
your protocol not precluding it, but having something so we didn't have what we have with bp, they tried but there were many complaints? >> it is an interesting idea. you will recall after 9/11, there was legislation considered that would put in place a tr trigger in the event that there was another unanticipated disaster. that went thugh the house and died in the senate judiciary committee. something like that anticipating the next time might be worthy. i will work with you if you would like. >> i would like to do so. >> the question of illnesses and the aftermath and bp running out of money if you could comment on that. >> doubt very much that bp is going to run out of money.
bp has made it clear that it will honor any and all obligations even above the $20 billion and i think it would be a disaster if bp was unable to shoulder its obligations here and keep people working in the gulf. in terms of the aftermath, one of the goals i've got over the next three years is to try and review the nature of the claim populaon and get a handle on how broad that will be. >> you have been very kind, i think we respect the structure that the administration has worked out. we respect that there are hard working people at the company, those workers who are doing their work every day. but some people fear that they will run out of money and they look to the past record. i think it will be important for
your constant reaffirmation as you go through this process that your doors are open. that you are working and if you just got the word august 10th or accept 1st, that you should hear that mr. feingerg's door is open d i would argue that you do a massive outreach. people live in owl corners and sometimes the are focused on getting bread on the table. and i think it is amazing. hurricane katrina there are people still trying to organize a complaint maybe in the 9/11 you have some aftermath. i want to make sure that is not going to happen. let me thank the witness. without objection members will have five days to submit any additional questions for you
which we will forward and ask that y swer as proemt you on behalf of the members for your agreement to work wi a number of us, we'll reach out to you on legislative fixes and reviews. finally the record will remain open for five legislative days for the submission of any additional materials. the hearing is now adjourned.
>> that was kenneth feinberg testifying about the oil spill compensation fund. he is back on capitol hill later today testifying before the senate homeland security and governmental affairs committee. we will also hear from representatives of several oil companies. live coverage at 2:30 p.m. eastern on c-span 3. "washington journal" is next. we will take your phone calls. and the house is back this morning. they will take up the extension of unemployment benefits which cleared the senate yesterday. a lot house coverage at 10:00 a.m. eastern. -- live house coverage. and coming up this hour, california representative barbara lee, who heads of the congressional black caucus, joins us. after that, texas congressman mack formed barrick --